Parks Canada will be closing parts of Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park Seaside over the Canada Day long weekend due to increased black bear activity.

The Kejimkujik Seaside area of the park was closed at 5 p.m. on Friday, and will remain closed until at least Monday, said Parks Canada in a press release.

"These guys, they're out in the broad daylight," said Chris McCarthy, a resource conservation manager for mainland N.S. with Parks Canada. "They are quite visible. That's why we feel we've got to close it down for this weekend"

Visitors on Friday will only be permitted in the park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. if they are in a group of three or more people, and don’t bring their pets.

Parks Canada also recommends that visitors to the park carry noise-makers and bear spray to reduce the risk of interaction with bears.

Some hikers, like Toby Luithle who is visiting from Germany, were not deterred.

"I don't think the bears are interested in me, so I'm not scared," Luithle said.

McCarthy said the bears are looking for food.

"It's a tough time of year for black bears," he said. "Because they're still kind of living off of last year's reserve fat, and they're looking for high energy foods to start pounding it on again for another winter, and it's just not available at this time."

If visitors do see a bear, the federal organization says that visitors should:

  • Face the animal
  • Make noise
  • Raise arms to make yourself look bigger
  • Back off slowly
  • Report the incident to the Parks Canada Duty Officer at 902-682-2598

The main area of Kejimkujik National Park will remain open over the weekend.

Parks Canada says the black bear population at Kejimikujik Seaside is healthy due to the undisturbed habitat and abundant food supply.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff.